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0271 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 271 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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373. ULAU   867

text as follows : « ...après Cinghis Can fui seignor Cui Can, le tierce Batui Can, le quart Oktai Can, le quint Mongu Can, le sexme Cublai Can »; and in Bi, 84, he translates accordingly. But « Oktai Can » is a correction (not a very happy one as to the spelling, since there are very few k in the nomenclature adopted from F by BENEDETTO ; he ought at least to have written « Octai »). The readings of the main texts are given above. PAUTHIER, YULE have admitted that « Alton » or « Alacou » was Hüiägü; PENZER (Pe, 189), reading B too quickly, has thought that « Oktai » was the real reading of F; RR, while keeping « Alton » in their text (p. 83), agree that Hüiägü is meant (p. xrv, 411).

I think there can be no doubt on this point. « Alton » of F is for « Alcon », itself altered from « Aloon », and precisely in Hülägü's name, the « Halaon » or « Haloon » of Hethum is altered into « Halcon » and « Alcon » in many Mss. (cf. Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, 167-168). Moreover, in the present passage of Polo, we read « Mau », not Alton, in VB and in the old German translation. It is true that Hüiägü was not Great Khan, but the case is the same with Batu, and BENEDETTO does not contest « Batui »'s identity with Batu.

One more word on the name. The editors of Hist. des Crois., Arm., II, in an additional note p. 1035, have supposed that « Haloon » or « Halcon » was altered from « Halaou » or « Haloou »; but they add themselves that the Latin translation has « Halaonus » or « Haloonus ». The form with final -n, not -u, is not to be rejected, and falls in with « Alaoni » in the Pontifical letter of 12601261 (though that might be dative of Alao). In Mongolian, Hüiä'ün is as correct as Hüiägü, and the name is written 3,5Vyb Hüiäwün by Mufa??ai in 1358 (cf. BLOCHET, Hist. des sultans mamlouks, 101-102 du tirage à part). Magrizi also writes « Hulaun » once, when quoting a letter from Hüiägü (cf. QUATREMÉRE, Hist. des sultans mamlouks, I, I, 102). Bar Hebraeus (Abu'l-Fara)), who writes « Hulaku » in the first part of his chronicle, misreading Juwaini's « Hüiägü », uses « Hulawun » in the second part, which is really his own work (cf. ABBELOOS and LAMY, Barhebraei Chron. Eccl.,

I, 734) .

There is nevertheless a remark which must be made about Polo's list of great khans : several names in it have a form different from that used in the rest of the book. We cannot say much about « Cui » for Güytik (Küyük), named only here by Polo (see « Cui »). As the name is followed by « Can », BENEDETTO (B1, 442) has supposed an original form « Cuic-Can » (the reverse error has produced « Tossuc » instead of *Tossu in Plan Carpine and « Mongut Kaan » with t < c, in B, 110). But we must not forget « Keuchan » in Rubrouck ( Icy, 213), « Guio Can » in Hethum (although there is an isolated « Guiot Can », for « *Guioc Can »; cf. Hist. des Crois., Arm., u, 115, 159, 293); in other words, « Cui » would not necessarily be a copyist's error, and Polo, Rubrouck and Hethum, having always heard the name followed by « Can », may themselves have thought that it was simply Küyü and not Küyük. Batu is mentioned elsewhere by Polo as one of the sovereigns of the Golden Horde, but under the form Patu (miswritten for Batu ?; see « Batu »); in the present paragraph, all Mss. suppose «Batui », and nothing shows that Polo took the two forms as applying to one and the same man. The same obtains here with « Alton » (read « Moon »), which is certainly Hüiägü, but differs from the « Mau » (originally « Ulau ») used everywhere else by Polo; and here again nothing indicates that Polo felt the two names to be identical. Things look as if this paragraph was due to a different man, or had been tampered with after Polo had dictated it. But I must be content with raising a question for which I see no solution at present.